Innisfil company fined $30,000; worker not using safety equipment

BARRIE: Jebco Industries Inc., a company that operates a coatings, linings and moulding facility in Innisfil, has pleaded guilty and has been fined $30,000 after a worker was observed working on top of a flatbed trailer without using a safety harness or other fall protection equipment as required by law. No one was injured.

On February 13, 2013, a Ministry of Labour inspector attended Jebco’s industrial workplace located at 3270 Clifford Court to follow up a previous inspection. Upon arrival, the inspector saw that in the yard outside, the load of a flatbed trailer was being covered with a tarpaulin and secured. There was a forklift on the passenger side of the truck; the forks of the forklift were raised in the air and loaded with a platform, upon which stood a worker.

The worker on the platform was adjusting the tarp or straps at the top of the load on the flatbed trailer. The worker left the platform and climbed on top of the load, about 13 feet from the ground. The inspector saw the worker perch on the edge of the load on the flatbed truck while trying to tarp it.

The worker was not using fall protection such as a safety harness. The Occupational Health and Safety Act and Ontario Regulation 851 require that any worker exposed to the hazard of falling more than three metres must wear a safety belt or harness and lifeline (a fall arrest system).

In addition, the inspector also saw two workers standing under the load of the forklift.  This contravenes a section of the regulation that states that a lifting device must be operated so no part of the load passes over any worker.

Jebco Industries Inc. pleaded guilty to failing, as an employer, to ensure that measures and procedures prescribed by law are carried out in the workplace. The company was fined $30,000 by Justice of the Peace Dennis D. White in Provincial Offences Court in Barrie on January 27.

In addition to the fine, the court imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge as required by the Provincial Offences Act. The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.

Unsafe working at heights is one of the leading causes of fatalities and hazards at Ontario workplaces.